I’ve come to the conclusion that either courage leaks or that it’s like a muscle. You can build your courage until it’s strong and muscular, ready at a moments notice for a show of strength or left alone it can wither and shrink for lack of use.
Some people are born with the right mix of chemicals that makes them almost fearless. They have to take extreme risks before they feel a twinge of fear. They have self-assurance oozing from every pore. They literally laugh in the face of danger.
Others have minimal amounts of those same chemicals and so life for them is one act of courage after another as they speak, act and interact daily with a world full of fears.
I think the latter has more courage than the former. Those who live each day in a scary world and yet continually fight and conquer their fears will have much stronger courage muscles than those born fearless. And these courageous scaredy cats will tell us that if they stop flexing and using their courage muscle it’s oh so easy to slip into the comforts of what’s known and never leave home again.
Then there are those who, like the cat in the picture, do one heroic, courageous act in their life and then live on the tales of their bravado for the rest of their boasting days. Their courage has all leaked out and they will never stare down one giant, drooling dog because they did it once and that was enough, can’t you see what a hero they are!
For me courage is the step that takes you from fear to faith. It’s the bridge between the feared snake, situation, person and faith in yourself, the bungee cord, God’s promise.
Many people know Joshua 1:9 where God commands Joshua to be courageous. Many don’t know that this is not the first time Joshua was told this. In Deuteronomy 31 verses 6,7 and 23 Joshua is told 3 times to be strong and have courage.
I’ve often wondered why he had to be told so many times. Yes, Joshua led the people into some pretty crazy battles like Jericho, but surely he had some courage from living life close to Moses. Maybe his courage needed a boost, a big boost, as he stepped into the role of leader of the Israelites and commander of the army about to take on giants.
The more you use courage on the same thing e.g. handling snakes or public speaking, the more you build muscle in that area the easier it becomes. Once conquered it no longer needs courage as the fear is gone. So your courage leaks and weakens and to keep your courage strong you need to face a new challenge, a new fear and excercise your courage once more.
I’ve discovered this is true for me. I need to keep challenging myself with new things, new fears to keep being courageous. Otherwise my courage leaks and when I need it most, all I find is a shriveled muscle and a bucketful of fear.
What about you? Does your courage leak? Share your feelings in the comments below.
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